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SPECIAL SECTION: CLARITY
Finding the perfect location, the right price point and a style that feels right is not always easy when planning a wedding. A yacht is a unique venue that offers a perfect alternative to the traditional land-based location. With a surprisingly affordable budget and irreplaceable ambience, a yacht charter is an undeniably sophisticated choice to create an unforgettable event.
Today, some high-end yachts are built specifically with weddings in mind. They offer open deck space for wedding ceremonies, full dining rooms, full workings galleys and even bridal suites. In upscale yachts, chefs are classically trained and clients are offered a full range of cuisine to suit their taste, style and budget. Be sure to inspect the galley to make sure all food is prepared fresh on board. Unlike a traditional catering hall or hotel, most yacht clients offer guests a buffet, an appropriate choice, since the yacht encourages movement and freedom between decks.
Whether clients prefer a trendy, cocktail party-style service or a formal sit-down affair, industry leaders have had to rise to the challenge. Clients are smarter about food, thanks to the wealth of culinary shows on TV and the return of small boutique-style restaurants. This requires premier yacht chefs to be flexible with dietary requirements, whether that is gluten free, vegetarian, vegan or any other.
The same goes for mixologists. With the recent popularity of classic cocktails, the bar options have flourished, from premium to specialty bars that feature tropical drinks or trendy craft cocktails.
So how does a yacht wedding work? Companies often offer clients pick-up at popular marinas that have plenty of guest parking available. More established yacht charter companies also offer full planning services that can include everything from DJs and florists to house photographers that specialize in nautical events. There is no limit to the possibilities. From cigar rollers and flamenco dancers to Marilyn Monroe impersonators it’s really up to you.
Most charters are typically four to five hours in length. Guests board the yacht and are ushered to the top deck for outdoor ceremonies. Larger yachts can also offer an indoor deck so clients can decide on what location works best for them and their guests.
Clients have a choice of sailing during the event or holding a dockside ceremony. One of the most exciting moments is getting underway. A yacht wedding offers something of a destination wedding feel. Guests experience a getaway without really having to get away.
Cocktail hour is usually around sunset. Guests enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres as they are treated to breathtaking views of the city and the sea beyond. Imagine a calm intercoastal with orange and purple skies as a backdrop, accompanied by great food, family and friends. It is an unbeatable combination.
Typically, yachts offer basic linens, flatware and china. But be sure to ask plenty of questions, as specialty items like fine linens and chair covers are an additional expense, and not all yachts are created equal. Inspect the dining room. Ask what is included. Check out the dance floor and imagine it is open and your guests are surrounding you and your love to the pulsating sounds of the hottest beats and the moonlight shimmering on the water overhead. A yacht wedding makes a statement that is all your own and very far from ordinary.
South Beach Lady
Corporate Partner Member of the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce